A number of parishioners and a priest have been left ‘upset’ and ‘traumatised’ after being subjected to an onslaught of sectarian abuse outside a Catholic church in Scotland.
Parish priest Canon Tom White was allegedly spat on twice and called “Fenian scum” as well as a “paedophile” by supporters of the Orange Order outside Glasgow’s St Alphonsus Church following a vigil Mass on Saturday, July 8.
The police, who had originally been accompanying the Orange parade, were called to another incident leaving Canon White and the parishioners exposed to the march.
In an earlier statement on Facebook, the Archdiocese of Glasgow described the “vile abuse” Canon White went on to suffer, which included being spat on and lunged at by a man carrying a pole.
The Archdiocese said: “What kind of society is it that allows ministers of religion and churchgoers to be intimidated and attacked by a group which has a long history of fomenting fear and anxiety on city streets?”
Speaking to The Irish Catholic, Canon White said the incident was “disturbing”, in particular because children following the march were “laughing thinking it was acceptable”.
He added that a priest had been assaulted on the same road a number of years ago, and that he personally has had his car spray painted with sectarian remarks.
In response to the incident, the Orange Lodge of Scotland said: “We can confirm that no members of the parade were involved in this or any of the reported incidents.” Canon White, however, disputes this.
“Certainly, in the shouting of some of the abuse – I would say that wasn’t correct. One man in the regalia of the Orange Order came and insisted on shaking my hand.
“In some respects, I appreciated the gesture but in hindsight what it actually did was single me out and interrupted the flow of the parade,” he said.